If we were having coffee, I would tell you good morning and thanks for joining me for another weekly chat. I would tell you I am excited! I am going home in two days. Can you believe it? Four months gone as quick as a snap of a finger. It seemed like yesterday I was arriving in China feeling as though I’ve landed on another planet with familiar yet unfamiliar roads and Chinese characters causing me a headache. Now four months later, though I can’t say my Chinese has exactly improved, I can say I’m not struggling in reading the characters as much as before.
My last week in China wasn’t without thrills but let’s start at the beginning of the week.
Before I came back to China, I told my aunt I want a Chinese Birthday Cake. She said, “That’s easy.” She finally fulfilled my request this week. We went to the local bakery and ordered a 500-gram cake. This was a two-layer yellow cake with cherry preserve filling as well as cream frosting with chocolate and fruit. It was like a cake made in heaven. The sweetness was perfect and the cake was perfectly moist.
It was the perfect birthday cake to make up for the 16 years I didn’t celebrate my birthday in China. Oh, FYI, it’s not my birthday.
I did something really daring on Thursday. I drank two sips of wine but I did it under peer pressure. Everyone was toasting to me and as the big star of the dinner, I stared at the wine in the glass and couldn’t help it. So I took a swig and man, did it burn. It also reminded me of the last time I had wine which was in Chicago two years ago. It tasted like cherry cough syrup. Now I get why some people pinch their faces when they first sip wine. I also feel puzzled how people, like my step-dad, can down a whole bottle of wine.
The wine, however, somehow satiated my hunger, scammed my stomach and told it I was full. By the end of the dinner, not only did I not overeat, I wasn’t even full. Moreover, it made me feel like a grown-up.
The morning after the “big” dinner, after almost 7 hours of sleep, my grandma invited me to morning tea. Her sister’s granddaughter had just reached a month old. We laughed and talked while my cousin sat quietly looking at his phone. I felt bad for him but for some reason, I tend to get along great with old folks.
Afterwards, I came home to pack. I’ve come to dislike packing, the task of organize and re-organize an entire suitcase because my clothes don’t fit right. However, after some moving around stuff and stuffing winter jackets into vacuum bags, I finally managed to pack everything into two suitcases and here I thought the empty suitcases were daunting in the beginning.
Lastly, if we were having coffee, I would thank you for joining me and hope to chat again next week when I’m back in the U.S.